Spiritual Growth









Abbottabad

These days that name does ring a very loud bell!!  So I was quite shocked to see this name in a book I picked up.

Yesterday, I went into this bookstore in Bangalore and the first book that caught my eye was titled I Dared To Call Him Father.  For several months I have been wanting to read this book but didn’t get around to borrowing it from my prayer centre’s library.  So I bought this book and finished reading it in 3 hours.  I just could not put it down.  It’s amazing how the Lord brings to you something which you really need to know so your relationship with Him is strengthened.

Abbottabad is the place where Begum Bilquis Sheikh, the ex-wife of the Interior Minister, was baptized by an Anglican, Presbyterian and Baptist minister.

You see, the Lord appeared to Bilquis in a dream and this book chronicles the journey of her coming to know the Lord through reading the Bible and how she held on to her faith amidst the persecution from her family and friends.  She came from a very affluent background but was willing to give it all up for Jesus.

I was in awe at how sensitive she was to God’s voice and people of different denominations helped her come to know the Lord.   It was her obedience to the Lord that inspired me the most.  When I came to the part where she calls God “O Father, My Father, Father God” I cried because I recognized what she felt.  She eventually had to leave the comfort of her wealthy life, her grown up children and fled to America but the Lord answered her prayer for her to be buried in her homeland Pakistan.

Every time I come to Bangalore a name keeps appearing in different places.  During this trip, the name is on a building just outside my hotel room. When I open the blinds and I see that name.  After reading this book, I am able to love this person only with the love that comes from the Lord and I am able to let go.

As I let go, the Lord reminded me of a song I used to sing so often when I first came to know the Lord.

Remove The Unwanted

Stir my heart O Lord, I pray
To walk in complete submission to You
Consume my steps with holy passion
Remove binding chains and hindering mountains

Burn the dross of unholy desires
Consume my being with Your Spirit’s fire
So I will be purified, refined as precious gold
To serve in total obedience and love

Fan into flame an undying love for You
So I will love no other first but You
Let me experience that fullness of joy
That only comes from being with You

Ignite my soul that unmet needs will die
Severe worldly ties which gratify my flesh
Then will I desire utmost for man’s salvation
And their name be in Your book of life

Till then Father, continue purifying me
So I will always be ready to do Your will

From now, when I see that name Abbottabad, I will remember it as the place where Bilquis Sheikh, a Pakistani Muslim woman was baptized.  And when I see the other name, I will hold on to God’s promise in 2 Peter 3:9 that it is not His desire for anyone to perish but that all should come to the knowledge of Him, so My Father will answer my prayer.

And we are assured and know that all things and in everything God works together for good to them who love God and are called according to His design and purpose. Romans 8:28

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ – right up to the time of His return developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:6

And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 1 John 5:14 Amp

Ann Mauritia D’cruz
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